Driscoll-gate – Scandal or Witch Hunt?

I have already linked to some of the posts that have been reverberating around the Blogdom of God in the last few days about Mark Driscoll and his new book. Of all the posts, there is no doubt in my mind that my old friend and blogging partner, the JollyBlogger, unquestionably has written the best.

I have been urged to comment on this matter, mainly I guess because I am perceived as somewhat in favour of Driscoll following my previous interview with him. Against my better judgment, I have decided to do so!

I have, however, little or nothing that I can add to David’s post, which perfectly expresses my own views, and as usual, David does so far more eloquently than I could. I know David has been quiet in recent months, but in a private e-mail to me, he acknowledged that he needs to get really ticked off about something to write a good post. So people, you know what you have to do TICK DAVID WAYNE OFF! Dave Warnock I’m sure you can do that!

Anyway, a couple of comments on Dave’s blog stuck out to me, which I will lift and quote here:

What keeps driving me crazy about this whole conversation is that no one has ever finished telling the story. Right after he gives this guy a swift kick in the pants, the guy says, “All right, thanks, Pastor Mark.” (This is the first person to call him “pastor” without joking about it.) Driscoll then admits that he has problems filtering his words “through the grid of propriety” (which I see as an admission that this probably wasn’t the best way to handle the situation.) Finally, he notes that, “The truth is that the guy actually did what I told him and today has a wife and some kids and no longer watches porn. So I just wish people would tell the whole story.

And . . .

Driscoll said, “This season was messy and I sinned and cussed a lot, but God somehow drew a straight line with my crooked Philistine stick. I had a good mission, but some of my tactics were born out of anger and burnout, and I did a lot of harm and damage while attracting a lot of attention. I was justifiably angry, but did not faithfully heed Paul’s command not to let anger lead me into sin. (Ephesians 4:26)”

So, it seems that we are dealing with an issue about which Driscoll is aware, a situation that happened many years ago, and one which he speaks of in a regretful manner in his book. I haven’t read the book, but I understand its purpose is to show that the author is far from a perfect pastor. He is a man riding a wave of God’s grace who are we to throw stones when we, too, live in glass houses?

In the past I have allowed myself to get much too het up about blog wars like this one which is why I refused to get involved before my preach. It was also why I wrote a post some while back called principles for God bloggers every one of which was born out of my own mistakes! I have had to apologise publicly for one of my mistakes, and I hope that in years to come people won’t still be holding it against me.

We bloggers need to know that there is an audience of ONE who is the real judge of our blogging endeavours, and indeed the rest of our lives. Until we reach perfection, we would do well to try and take the good from Driscoll, and everyone else, whilst rejecting the bad.

Sadly, I am not surprised by the antics of some people over this latest fiasco to hit the God blogosphere. People can strain at a gnat and swallow a camel sometimes. I don’t like Driscoll’s language, BUT we have to weigh it a bit with the culture into which he’s speaking. There are many words which Americans generally use, which over here in the UK would be seen as swear words, and it may be that some (but surely not all!) of the issue with Driscoll is that he is speaking in a culturally relevant way to Seattle.

But, allowing for the fact that Driscoll is clearly speaking in a way at times that most Christians would find unacceptable, why can’t certain people rejoice that at least the Gospel is being preached by him? Let’s face it Driscoll’s Gospel message is actually clearer than many modern preachers, and most importantly it is APPLIED to the hearer. If you go to Driscoll’s church, you will be confronted with the claim of the Gospel on your life, week in and week out.

The fact that God is using someone who is, by his own admission, a little rough around the edges should make us rejoice at His grace rather than despise those who fail to reject Driscoll strongly enough!

I have a feeling that the level of response is at least in part due to spiritual warfare. Why do I say this? Quite simply because Driscoll has firmly grasped two things that the vast, vast majority of even godly Christian preachers we respect have failed to grasp the first is church discipline. His talk on this crucial matter is simply outstanding, and everyone should listen to it, in my opinion.

The second thing he has grasped onto firmly is that our preaching on a Sunday should be directed both at unbelievers AND believers. I suspect that our enemy is determined to prevent many other Christians from grabbing this, for if we preach to unbelievers, we can surely expect them to be more likely to repent and respond to the Gospel!

So in summary, let’s grab the good and avoid the bad in EVERY preacher and blogger out there, and let’s be a bit more gracious along the way!

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